Author: Brett Pollakoff

2015 NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest

NBA recently experimented with ads on jerseys, Adam Silver thinks you didn’t notice


Ads on player jerseys are coming to the NBA at some point; it’s only a matter of time.

Adam Silver has said it’s inevitable more than once, and the league’s new broadcast rights deal mentions it specifically.

The reason it hasn’t happened yet is that it’s believed to be worrisome to a segment of the league’s fans, who may not like the non-traditional approach.

But the league experimented with ads on jerseys recently, and fans didn’t seem to care — in fact, it’s possible that they didn’t even notice.

From a Q&A with Silver by Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune:

Tribune: Is there an inevitability of having ads on jerseys? When will it happen?

Silver: During the slam dunk competition on Saturday night of All-Star Weekend, all the contestants were wearing a Sprite logo on their jersey. It was fascinating to me it got almost no attention. That goes to show that, while I understand what the notion of NASCAR-like uniform conjures in fans, there is a tasteful way to have relatively small branding added to the jerseys that would provide additional value to our sponsors and the league.

The logo was small, but was easily visible on the front of all of the jerseys worn by the Dunk Contest participants.

Those aren’t traditionally made available for sale, though it’s unlikely that Timberwolves fans would be deterred by the green Sprite logo if these particular Zach LaVine jerseys showed up in the team’s arena apparel shop.

UPDATE: The league got in touch, and reminded us that the All-Star Saturday night event patches have been in place since 2009, which further hammers home the point: We really didn’t notice.

Heat’s Hassan Whiteside suspended one game for hit on Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk

Phoenix Suns v Miami Heat

Hassan Whiteside has been suspended one game for “elbowing Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk in the back of the neck,” the league announced on Tuesday via official release.

This honestly comes as no surprise.

Whiteside’s hit didn’t even come on a play where Olynyk had the ball. Instead, Whiteside simply ran up behind Olynyk and decked him, which the officials ruled to be a flagrant two foul at the time, causing Whiteside to be ejected.

Whiteside expressed regret for his actions at the team’s practice on Tuesday, and said he reached out to Olynyk to apologize.

He’ll serve the suspension on Wednesday when the Heat host the Nets.

Derrick Rose on Bulls setting a 4-6 week timetable for his return: ‘Who cares?’

Memphis Grizzlies v Chicago Bulls

Derrick Rose hopes to return to the Bulls this season, and has already begun rehab after undergoing knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

But as for exactly when he might make it back, Rose wasn’t willing to commit to the 4-6 week timetable that GM Gar Forman set, and didn’t seem all that interested in discussing it.

“Who cares,” Rose responded, when asked about Forman’s timeline. “I’m not even thinking about that right now. I’m thinking about just getting the most out of every day.”

Rose is undoubtedly tired of answering questions about injuries, rehabilitation, and when he might be able to return.

But to answer his obviously rhetorical question, there are tens of thousands of fans who care plenty about it all, and Rose needs to be conscious of that — even when answering the endless stream of excruciating questions about his latest injury issues.

[via DIME]

Leandro Barbosa tweets clip of Glen Davis flopping against him from Warriors’ win over Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors

At one point during the Warriors’ easy win over the Clippers on Sunday, Glen Davis flopped (and flopped hard) after receiving a slight bit of contact in the chin from Leandro Barbosa.

The announcers laughed at the replay, because it was just so ridiculous.

But perhaps an even greater embarrassment came a couple of days later, when Barbosa tweeted the clip of the flop himself.

While this is more good-natured than some other things that went on in the wake of that contest, it will add yet another wrinkle to the ever-growing rivalry between these two teams.

Kobe Bryant on Lakers rebuild: ‘You don’t want to compromise the future of the franchise for one season’

Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Pelicans

Kobe Bryant has been sidelined for the third straight year with a season-ending injury, but in the midst of what may end up being a historically bad Lakers campaign, he’s not missing much.

Bryant anticipates being once again ready to go in time for the start of next season, which is the final one he’s under contract to play with the Lakers.

Despite wanting to get back to competing for championships, Bryant knows that the franchise can’t go all-in by making unwise personnel decisions that could cripple the team for seasons to come.

Mitch Kupchak has said that he won’t add veterans just because next year may be Bryant’s last, and Kobe seems to be in agreement with a longer-term plan that will set the Lakers up for a more sustained measure of success.

From Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak recently said he will not squander the team’s financial flexibility and youth for more established veterans just to strengthen Bryant’s chances of securing his sixth NBA championship in what might mark his final NBA season. When relayed about Kupchak’s strategy, Bryant repeatedly nodded his head to convey support and understanding.

“It’s a balance of both,” Bryant said. “You always want to set the franchise up for the long term. Mitch and I are on the same page. What he said in the interview is not something that we haven’t talked about before. It’s nothing different. You don’t want to compromise the future of the franchise for one season. You try to balance that.”

There’s still a possibility that the Lakers can improve substantially next season, even by sticking to the long-term rebuilding approach. The team will have enough cap space to offer a max deal to someone in free agency, and while the top-tier guys like Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge are likely to stay where they are, there will be some movement, and the Lakers may overpay someone (like Goran Dragic, Rajon Rondo or Draymond Green, perhaps) to jumpstart that process.

L.A. also may have a high pick to use in this summer’s draft (as long as they end up with a top-five selection), and will have Julius Randle returning from injury in time for next season.

All of that could help the Lakers get better more quickly than expected, but Bryant isn’t counting on anything else.